The original aim of this project was to engage, inspire and educate disadvantaged children and young people from London about the landscape and natural environments of the Darent Valley. Whilst that aim still remains true, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we expanded the audience reach for this project to include those groups most in need of recovery through nature.

The Nature Recovery Programme, led by our partners the Quadrangle Trust, has already seen a multitude of groups from inner London visit the forest garden at the Quadrangle in the heart of the Darent Valley to take part in workshops, focussing on nature as a means of recovery. A pilot of this project began in summer 2020 offering retreats to young people from inner London, families who had no access to the outdoors during national lockdowns and frontline healthcare professionals. Such was the success of the pilot project and the continuing need for respite through connecting with nature, the Nature Recovery Programme is moving into its third successive year.

Testimonials for Forest Bathing & Nature Connection sessions

  • “A powerful experience of using my senses to connect with nature felt connected and part of something much larger than myself”
  • “It was the most relaxed I felt in maybe about three years”
  • “I’m a highly stressed person in work and home life and I feel like I’m leaving a different person”
  • “Beautiful, calming, inspiring, revitalising, stilling, collaborative”
  • “I felt challenged in a positive way challenge to relearn, to be still, relaxed and focus on myself”
  • “An excellent way of actually building true resilience and improving our mental health in these challenging times”
  • “Very positive. Not something I would normally have gone to but with so many learning points I would strongly advise and encourage other members of staff to take part. A day to be remembered and cherished. Thanks for all the thoughts and efforts you made to make it a perfect day”
  • “This is one day away that you can stop, reflect, enhance your ability to deal with stress and stressful situations”.

 

If you would like more information on our Adventure Learning for All project, please contact darent.valley@kentdowns.org.uk 

Three children camping in field
many people walking in a line down a footpath with fields and sky
the backs of 10 people walking
13 people sitting on chairs in field
People sat on chairs in circle on grass
Six people in a field drawing the view on paper
Three people using two wheelbarrows to add mulch to fruit trees
Lady removing weeds from around small fruit tree in field
Water with trees above
Plates of various food
Mist above field
Bluebells on ground with trees above
Three white tents in field with green grass underneath and blue sky above

Co-financed by the European Union and the European Regional Development Fund